Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Unbelievable Whalewatching from the Stena Europe!

Another couple of days aboard the Stena Europe and more fantastic sightings in almost flat calm seas! Great rafts and feeding frenzies of auks, gulls, terns and shearwaters, gannets smashing in amongst them, glorious seascapes and also views of land from the sea...and of course cetaceans...
Some were close, some frustratingly just would not come into camera range. One of several sightings of breaching Risso's, a dark phase adult, black all over except for a pale melon which looked a bit like a lifesavers skullcap was particularly breathtaking.
Common Dolphins right in at the bow, other skulking away, the last pod of half a dozen sighted just off Strumble.
Porpoises with calves and gangs of half a dozen.
Three whales, one Minke and two not seen well enough to be certain but same place as two reported by Alan Murrow yesterday , (seen by his brother Len as Al took his break!) These were also seen by us and crew members as Al' took his morning break ! I only saw one of these briefly but it looked big and seemed to be in the company of a couple of Risso's. There seemed to be Risso's all over the place including a split up group of over 20. I cant believe TV crews arent queing up to come and film this stuff but we are obviously either too far away or not far enough away. With the sort of equipment they have it could be spectacular viewing but I suppose they prefer to be in Madagscar or Nepal than West Wales!
Ultra bright conditions made photography tricky but a couple of shots from Rich Crossen of a Common Dolphin and a Risso' surfacing are shown above whilst the Manx Shearwater below shows just how glassy calm it was.
I have just noticed this from the Pembrokeshire Bird Blog Posted By John o'Sullivan:Strumble Sun morning 15-20 Common Dolphins went west at 6:15, That's pretty likely to be the same ones we saw still in the area - nice one John!